The flag stayed down to allow Fernando Torres to deliver on a night that saw Hazard sparkle again. Brave Reading went home with nothing but put up a fight as their budget options confirmed their potential. Let’s check the stock…
On the Up
Five assists marks a remarkable start to Hazard’s Fantasy season and already confirms him as a major Fantasy asset. He’s mesmerising skill and pace, combined with the freedom to join the attack from all areas, has thrust Hazard to the top of our midfield shopping list – once the Gameweek 3 blank has passed of course.
Lampard may well rely on spot-kicks for returns but with Hazard in the side, he looks set to get plenty of them. The Belgian’s tricky feet are drawing fouls, seemingly handing Chelsea deadballs and penalties aplenty.
Torres left it late but he eventually delivered on the captaincy with a goal that just about justified the faith shown in him. We will still look to Hazard and wonder what might have been, while Robin Van Persie still looks ridiculously tempting for those with the funds to wave goodbye to El Nino for the weekend. It’s still a big decision for those with cracks elsewhere and with bandwagons rolling.
The Russian delivered on his budget promise with a superb glancing header to bring Reading on terms. Pogrebnyak looks destined to lead the line home and away for the Royals and, as we’ve stressed all through the pre-season, offers a superb third striker option for those looking to reserve funds.
Talking of budget options, Reading look to have a mix of them. The widemen Jobi McAnuff and Gareth McClearly put in strong displays again but it will be Guthrie, playing up in support of the lone striker and at just 4.5 in the Fantasy Premier League game, that will rouse interest.
A calamitous error for Reading’s second goal drew visible frustration from manager Roberto Di Matteo and will give cause concern for those holding Chelsea defenders. We’ve seen his confidence waver in previous seasons. Worrying.
While Hazard, Lampard and Torres delivered returns, Mata was the odd one out, offering two blanks over the double Gameweek. We know that Di Matteo is planning a rest for the playmaker, while it’s doubtful that this will start early against Newcastle, it’s not out of the question given the jaded performances so far.
Adam Le Fondre
Brian McDermot started tonight’s game in a 4-5-1, pushing Guthrie up to support Pogrebnyak. Le Fondre dropped to the bench then and will presumably be at risk when Reading are on the road.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby